The 2017-18 NHL season is just over a week old, it early, but there are some superstars that have struggled out of the gate. And as such, they’ve got their teams floundering in the standings.

Is it too early to look at how individual players are performing so far in the 2017-18 NHL season? Maybe. Harper likes to apply an eleven game line before judging players like they do in golf. You don’t count your handicap until eleven holes.

But I’m not Harper. And I certainly don’t play golf. Just ask the boys the last time we hit the links. It was an embarrassment. For them. Not me. I knew how bad I was. And everyone knew I was with them.

Falling Stars

Unlike the NBA the NHL doesn’t have super teams.  Even the Penguins with their back-to-back cups isn’t a super team. By NBA standards a super team has at least three superstar players playing at once. That’s a frontcourt with 60% superstar ratio. If we use that logic on the NHL there would have to be four superstars on the ice at once.

And that’s not happening. Sure. Putting out Sid and Gino is great. Same with Phil and Letang. But the latter two aren’t superstars. Great players. But definitely not superstars.

A superstar team just can’t be done at the NHL. And that’s all thanks to the salary cap. Look at Chicago. They could ice both Kane and Toews. But paying a third or even fourth guy, in today’s NHL, couldn’t work.

(I know they pay Duncan Keith and he’s a superstar. But tell me Keith is worth $5.5 million per year and not more and I’ll call the insane asylum.)

It’s imperative for NHL teams to get superstar levels of production from these super studs or else their season can quickly go from hopeful to disastrous real quick. I’m looking at you Montréal.

I’m looking at you Montréal.

I wanted to look at four superstar players, at various positions, and show that they’re level of play is failing their respective teams. Even though it’s ridiculously early in the season.

Carey Price
Stats: 0.885 SV%, 3.45 GAA,
Record: 1-3-1 / 7th Atlantic

Just three years ago Carey Price was the single greatest player in the game. Sidney Crosby who? Carey Price took who honor after honor after honor. In a single season, he won the Hart, the Vezina, the Jennings and the Pearson Trophy. And that all made sense. He was stopping 93% of the shots he faced and allowed just under two goals per game on average.

But now he can’t keep them out of his net. After five games Carey Price is letting in 21.5% of the shots he faces and is allowing almost three and a half goals against per game, on average.

And already Marc Bergevin is fighting for his job. He’s caught almost as many Habs games as he has other teams in the league. The man is looking for an answer because the one he thought he had in Carey Price isn’t working right now.

Sure Montréal can’t score right now. But that’s not exactly a new problem now it is? Their strength was allowing so few goals against that if they put up two to three goals they’d likely win. Now they have to put up four to maybe win. And with that roster that ain’t likely.

Brent Burns
Stats: 0 Goals, 1 Assist, 1 Point
Record: 1-3-0 / 7th Pacific

The man with the bun and the beard isn’t having a good go so far this short season. In his two previous seasons, Burns has put up a combined 151 points across 164 games. But in 2017-18 he’s got just one in his opening four games.

With the departure of Patrick Marleau, the Sharks offense was going to look different for the first time in a number of years. But no worries, Brent Burns could put up 75-ish points like he’s done across the last two season.

But for now, Burns is on pace for 20 points. He’ll obviously shake that off once he gets through the next 78 games in the regular season. The longer it takes him to get back to his scoring ways the longer the Sharks could toil in the basement of the Pacific.

Henrik Lundqvist
Stats: 0.914 SV%, 2.82 GAA
Record: 1-3-0 / 8th Metropolitan

I’m a noted Rangers hater so nothing warms the cuckolds of my heart like the New York Rangers being at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.

And there isn’t anything better than when it’s at the hands of Henrik Lundqvist. His 0.914 save percentage is ok, stopping 8.6% of his shots but he’s letting in almost three goals a game. That’s including letting in five goals in a single period against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And the Rangers are nailed to the bottom of the Metro because of it.

Max Pacioretty
Stats: 1 Goal, 0 Assist, 1 Point
Record: 1-3-1 / 7th Atlantic

Alright. Originally I wanted to take a player per division. I tried. But my entire post is on superstars and I found myself stretching the definition to try and get a player from the Arizona Coyotes. Or someone from Dallas. Both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are doing just fine. Even Ben Bishop has been lights out.

So I went back to the Habs. To be fair, it was Harper’s suggestion. He listed Price, Weber, Pacioretty. And of the two other I went with Paches. Simply because he’s Montréal’s singular goal threat since the 2011-12 season when he put up 33 goals. Since the man’s been on fire with three 35+ goal seasons and two more 30+ goal seasons. Since 2011-12 only three other players have more goals then Paches.

So with only a single goal in five games the Habs have had to rely on other players to score. And it’s not working. They have eight goals on the season. Eight! Ovie has more goals than that.

These four players have to pick it up as soon as possible. Every point in the NHL is important. Ask the New York Islanders about how a single point can turn a season around.

Without their regular contributions, their respective teams won’t escape their basement lives at the moment.


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